Customer Supplied CAD data

I remember a post a while back that was in the form of a letter to the
customer concerning the acceptable CAD file formats and the caveats of
supplying CAD data. I searched on google with no success (not sure what the
search string should be) and was hoping that someone more responsible than
me saved that post and could repost it. Lately we have a multitude of
customers who either provide PDF file from Pro/E that are not fully
dimensioned for estimating and then expect us the manufacture the parts from
these same PDF files. I had one today where after we got the job I told the
customer that I had to have some model files since the PDF drawing were not
dimensions completely. He sent some STEP files but told me I would have to
compare to the drawings to make sure they were current! And these are not
simple parts either. On the other end of the spectrum some customers want
us to quote from STEP or IGES files of a model. Which means I have to load
it into Solidworks, clean it up and make a drawing for the estimators to
quote by. Of course all this is done on our on time with no guaranty that
we will even get the job.
In light of all this I've been told to come up with some guidelines to send
to our customers. If I remember correctly the post I'm thinking of would be
a great place to start.
Thanks for your help,
Reply to
Not Necessarily Me
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google search using "customer guidelines concerning cad formats", pulled a lot info.
Reply to
You're right, that search did pull a lot of info, but as with most Google searches 99% percent of it was not related to what I was actually looking for. Maybe I'm not asking the group the correct question? I'm looking for a post that is long gone off of my news server that was truely related to what I'm looking for..
Thanks anyway, Jeff
Someone else (maybe the original poster) care to comment?
Reply to
Not Necessarily Me
You get pretty good chart off from the SW Help file (import/export)... copy that to excell and list all the preferred formats...
Reply to
You have kind of a catch-22 thing going on here. If you lay down hard fast rules that inconvenience the customer, you'll lose business. If you attempt to serve the customer, using your current in-place processes, you'll lose money.
The answer, "update your processes"
Quoting from 3D models is pretty common these days, so are PDF's. If you decide that you will only quote from fully dimensiond and detailed "paper" drawings you "will" lose business, guarenteed. You need to train your estimators deal with this type of data, and provide them with software tools to do so efficiently.
This doesn't mean you should just accept any CAD "junk" they decide to send you. What it does mean is that your guidlines should include allowances for these modern methods in an organized way. For instance, standardize on 3D formats you can deal with easily, like STEP and Parasolid. If the part contains close tolerances, it should be accompanied by a drawing, or PDF, that defines these features. If they send you a crummy IGES file from an obsolete CAD system, call them and try to get something better. I've done this hundreds of times with success. Alot of people won't even try because they're afraid that the customer will think they're incompetent. The truth is, 9 times out of 10 the person generating the file doesn't have a clue about about file conversion.
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